Introduction: hospital-acquired infections of Lassa fever (LF) has been described in many West African countries. We assessed the availability of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures and their use in the health centres (HCs) at the affected Local Government Areas (LGAs) during an ongoing LF outbreak in Ondo State, Nigeria.
Methods: we included all primary and secondary HCs and their healthcare workers (HCWs) in the affected Ose and Owo LGAs. We collected data from respondents using self-administered questionnaires and used a checklist to assess the IPC measures at the HCs. We generated frequencies and proportions and tested associations using odds ratios at 95% CI.
Results: one hundred and ninety HCWs from 59 HCs were surveyed of which 34 (57.6%) were located in Owo LGA. All HCs had soap for handwashing, 57(96.6%) had wash-hand basins but only 52(88.1%) had water. While 57(96.6%) had gloves and 53(89.8%) had sharps boxes, only 16(27.1%) had an isolation room. Only 44(23.2%) respondents had been trained in IPC. The majority, 144 (91.6%) always had gloves available for their use, 79(41.6%) always had facemask/shield and 71(37.4%) always had full personal protective equipment. At the last patient contact, only 151 (79.8%) washed their hands before the contact, 188(98.9%) washed their hands after and 183 (96.2%) wore gloves. While there was no association between availability of gloves and its use (OR: 0.21, 95%CI 0.04-1.17), there was significant association between having had training in basic universal precautions and having used gloves (OR: 3.64, 95%CI 1.21-19.40) and having washed hands after last patient contact (OR: 2.31, 95%CI 1.67-12.30).
Conclusion: among these HCs that serve as point of first contact with possible cases of LF in these endemic LGAs, none met the minimum standard for IPC. We recommend that IPC committee for each LGA and the whole state should be set up and IPC trainings made mandatory.